The Barnesville Trojans trailed by as many as 14 points and the Crookston Pirate Girls Basketball team trailed by as many as 15 in the second half, but Barnesville made enough plays and held on for a 54-51 victory in a Section 8AA matchup on Senior Day in Crookston.
Crookston honored the four seniors before and after the game. Players – Emma Borowicz and Emma Boll. Managers – Jayden Hulst and Amber Cymbaluk.
Crookston jumped out to a 9-2 lead to start the game with Hayden Winjum scoring four points, Abby Borowicz adding a three-pointer, and Emma Borowicz adding two. Crookston continued to build on their lead and after an Abby Borowicz basket in the paint, the Pirates led 20-6 with 5:13 left in the half and things were looking good for the Pirates. “We played exceptionally well to start the game and were doing most things well,” said Crookston Coach Darin Zimmerman. “Offensively we were executing and on the defensive end we were playing like the way we practice and the way we want to play, but then we got away from that.”
Barnesville picked up the defensive pressure and started making some shots and moving the ball around on offense and ended the half on a 16-3 run with five different players scoring to get within a 23-22 deficit at halftime. “For the first time all season I had to pull kids out of the game and tell them to play hard,” said a disappointed Coach Zimmerman. “That is a problem and you aren’t going to win when you’re doing that and that was the number one thing that hurt us, was the effort.”
Barnesville continued to dominate at the start of the second half. On the offensive end, they were cutting to the basket, moving the ball around, making shots, playing aggressively. On the defensive end, they were in Crookston’s face, playing physically, and making it tough on Crookston. Because of the tremendous all-around effort by the Barnesville players, they continued to build on their lead and outscored Crookston 27-10 for a 49-33 lead with 6:17 left in the game and things were looking good for Barnesville. “You have to give Barnesville some credit because they were making plays and had good ball movement and had some nice dribble drives,” said Coach Zimmerman. “Defensively, they were aggressive and gave us some problems.”
But in one of the wildest games, as far as runs and leads go, Crookston settled down and starting playing Pirate basketball. Crookston’s Ally Perreault gave her team a spark when she was fouled and made one of two free throws. Hayden Winjum followed with a steal and a layup, Halle Winjum made a step-back three-pointer followed by two free throws and another three-pointer. Emma Boll capped the Pirate run with a free throw and after 11 straight Crookston points over a four-minute span, they were within four points (49-45) with 2:03 remaining. “We can score in bunches,” said Coach Zimmerman. “We can turn teams over and that is what we did there, but most of it came down to effort.” Barnesville’s outstanding eighth-grader Abby John made two important free throws to give her team a six-point lead before Crookston’s Emma Boll had a big block and a little later in the possession, she found a wide-open Hayden Winjum for a layup and the Pirates were within four points again with 50 seconds left. Barnesville’s Sam Passa got a long pass on an inbound play and scored on a layup before the Pirates responded with a Hallie Winjum three-pointer with 33 seconds remaining and Crookston trailed 53-50. Crookston fouled Barnesville and they missed the front end of the bonus and the Pirates grabbed the rebound and Boll made one of two free throws to bring her team within a 53-51 deficit with 24.7 seconds left. Crookston had a couple of shots, but Barnesville was able to partially block one of them and they grabbed the ball and were fouled. The Trojans only made one free throw with nine seconds left, but Crookston wasn’t able to score and Barnesville held on for a 54-51 victory. “I like the fight we had and how we executed at the end of the game,” said Coach Zimmerman. “We were under control and made plays while running our offense. The girls played discipline and extremely hard down the stretch and that was great to see.”
Crookston drops to 8-3 on the year and will travel to Perham on Thursday. Barnesville improves to 7-3 on the year.
J.V. – Barnesville won 41-37 C-Squad – Barnesville 53-24
|Abby Borowicz||9||3||2 assists|
|Hayden Winjum||9||8||2/3 and 2 blocks|
|Emma Boll||3||2 assists|